Monday 24 June 2019

Expanding Educate Together is a step closer to new home

By Anna Hayes

The hunt for a permanent home for Wexford Educate Together national school took a very positive step last week when it was confirmed that a preferred site for a new build had been identified and negotiations for its procurement are ongoing.

While the location of the site has not been confirmed, speculation is rife that it is in the Killeens area, close to the newly opened Loreto Secondary School, and the site of the Min Ryan Park.

Wexford TD James Browne, who serves as Chairperson of the school's Board of Management, has been working on the project for many years alongside the board, the staff and school principal Maria Caesar, who has been the principal of the school since its foundation in the town.

At present, about 170 pupils attend the school but Deputy Browne said that number is growing rapidly and a new building is a matter of urgency that the Department of Education has recognised.

'The school is currently housed in three sections of buildings, one of which is for sale. In another year or two, we will have outgrown the premises and there is also the risk that we could be given notice at any time if that building sells. The Department has acknowledged that it is a matter of urgency and has approved a school build for us.'

Negotiations are ongoing between the Department and the landowner of the proposed site and Deputy Browne is confident that an agreement will be met.

He explained that, eight months ago, they had three sites to consider - one of which was the old Loreto Secondary School - but the options had been whittled down to the current preferred option.

'I'm told that the Department and the Planning section of Wexford County Council are working closely on this so that plans will be prepared alongside the procurement process and the project will be able to hit the ground running if and when the site is secured.'

He added: 'Getting the site is a key step. Wexford town has very few sites inside the roundabouts that are appropriate for a school build - it's a fairly compact town that way. Once we get the site, the Department will be locked into it and will see it through. Hopefully we can look forward to a new purpose-built state of the art school in the near future.'

Wexford People

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